Aims—To investigate in vitro the effect of amphotericin B on platelets in order to understand poor platelet recovery in patients receiving platelet transfusions and amphotericin B simultaneously.
Methods—Washed platelets were isolated from platelet concentrates and exposed to amphotericin B (4 μg/ml) for one hour. Platelet function was assessed by aggregation response to thrombin (0-0.6 U/ml), serotonin release, response to hypotonic stress, and mean platelet volume. The expression of surface membrane glycoprotein (GP) Ib-IX complex, GPIIb-IIIa complex and CD62P (P-selectin) was examined by flow cytometry using fluorescence labelled monoclonal antibodies. Heterotypic cell adhesion was measured in amphotericin B treated platelets coincubated with isolated, autologous polymorphonuclear leucocytes (PMN) by flow cytometric analysis.
Results—Amphotericin B induced platelet dysfunction. The rate of aggregation by thrombin, serotonin uptake and thrombin induced release of serotonin, and the response of platelets to hypotonic stress were inhibited. There was up to a two-fold increase in the mean platelet volume. The expression of platelet surface GPIb-IX and GPIIb-IIIa was not affected. P-selectin, normally expressed only on the surface of activated platelets, was also expressed on unactivated platelets. Amphotericin B increased platelet adherence to PMN and the number of platelets bound per PMN.
Conclusions—In vitro, amphotericin B induces P-selectin expression on the surface of unactivated platelets and increases platelet adhesion to PMN, which is exacerbated by storage. Platelet dysfunction resulting from exposure to amphotericin B may contribute to poor platelet recovery in vivo when amphotericin B is administered concomitantly with platelet transfusion.
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